Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
The beautiful, storybook town of Cesky Krumlov is nestled in the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cesky Krumlov is home to approximately 14,000 people and is now a major tourist destination for travelers from around the world. Its close proximity to the Vltava River makes it an ideal port stop for river cruise ships and their passengers, who frequently outnumber locals during the summer months when coupled with traditional tourists.
Your River Cruise Ship Docks …
Inland excursions to Cesky Krumlov are commonly offered from the ports of Passau, Germany and Linz, Austria. Note that not all itineraries and cruise lines may offer an excursion here, even if they call on either town.
When in Cesky Krumlov …
As with many small European towns, one of the best ways to spend your time in Cesky Krumlov is to simply allow yourself to get lost among the narrow cobblestone streets and alleyways that line this remarkably well-preserved destination. Still, those looking to add a little more structure to their day may want to consider these interesting attractions:
- Cesky Krumlov Castle – Arguably the most visited site in town, construction on the Cesky Krumlov Castle began in the late 13th century. Visitors can explore the castle free of charge, but to get the most out of your journey here you may want to put down a little money to go on one of the guided tours of the castle’s incredible interiors and Baroque Theatre. Admission to the top of the castle tower can also be purchased, and can be well worth it for the photographic opportunities. Plan on spending at least two to three hours here in order to see and do everything.
- Graphite Mines – Go underground in Cesky Krumlov with a visit to a graphite mine. Tours put guests in actual mining clothing and protective gear in order to begin their descent into the graphite mine far below the surface. Discover what it was like to be a miner, in very much the same conditions they would have worked in, and with the tools they would have used.
- International Music Festival – during the months of July and August, numerous indoor and outdoor concerts are offered. While many require the purchase of tickets, it’s still possible to stumble on events performed in squares or local pubs. Ask the locals; they’ll point you in the right direction.
- Horror Bar – For something completely different, the adventurous might want to wet their whistle in the Horror Bar, a popular local serving up ghoulish delights like small test tubes filled with blood-red liqueur.
River Cruisers Should Know!
- The currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech Koruna, or Crown. (CZK)
- While most of the movie is so unflinchingly gory as to be rendered unwatchable, the 2005 horror film Hostel was shot on location in Cesky Krumlov, where it stood in for a highly fictionalized Bratislava. There are some beautiful shots of the town in the first 30 minutes of the movie… but consider yourself warned about the remainder! The squeamish may want to consider watching The Illusionist instead, which was also filmed here.
- The majority of streets in Cesky Krumlov are made of cobblestone, so you’ll want to be sure to bring a good, sturdy pair of walking shoes with you. High heels and flip-flops need not apply!